Don't let the name scare you away
Uncle Billy's. Yes, the name is a bit off-putting, not particularly grand, and implies cheesiness. Well, that pretty much sums up the place! We were quite happy with the hotel, despite a few quirks. The price was right, the location was perfect (Hilo Bay, right on the water), and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. I felt like I was just one of the "ohana".
Uncle Billy's is a sort of funky, 1950's Hawaiian experience. With cheesy Polynesian decor and a restaurant with a nightly Hawaiian band and hula show, it's all you could want for a local experience. The room (with kitchenette) was a good size, comfy and clean, and looked upon the lovely Koi ponds/courtyard and Hilo bay. Despite the one day where our dirty towels disappeared and were not replaced, the staff quickly remedied the situation with many apologies.
We didn't experience any of the "thin wall" noise that travel guides and e-opinions complained about. The worst offenders seemed to be the myna birds who roosted in the courtyard every evening and squawked up a storm before settling in for the night. As an amateur birder, it was a joyful ruckous and not one I minded.
Unique Quality: Nice pool, rarely used and right by the water. The kitchenettes were fairly well-stocked, although it could have used a big pot and a strainer for pasta cooking (but every place I've stayed in with a kitchenette tends to forget these very important implements). Nice big lanai (balcony) with comfy chairs and occasional visits by geckos.
We only ate in the restaurant for breakfast, which was tasty and filling, with fresh fruit and juices. However, it is an EXTREMELY popular hangout for the steak-and-seafood crowd, judging by the packed parking lot and masses of people inside every evening. Oh yes, and it has those quirky walls that open to the fresh breezes, that seem to be a requirement for most buildings in Hawai'i. Very cool.
And finally, fresh flowers in the lobby every morning for the wahine (and perhaps a kane or two) to tuck behind her ear. Hibiscus is heavenly!